Rating: M(ish)

Word Count: 3,677

Beta: monicawoe

Disclaimer: I am sad to say that these characters are not mine. I hope you enjoy regardless

Warning: Mentions of Hell and the activities therein, some mentions of hellish rituals as well. Sam and Dean are not good guys here.

Summary: As Dean falls, so does Sam. As Sam turns, so does Dean. Even separated by Hell, they are still brothers. And just as Sam is Hell's Boy King, Dean is Hell's Master of Hounds.

Notes: Written for leonidaslion as part of the AntiChristmas Fic Exchange over at sammessiah on livejournal. The prompt was In Hell, Dean may be Alistair's prize pupil, but he has an even greater talent with the Hounds. They're always following him around, and when he goes to sleep he inevitably wake up as the center of a dogpile. Eventually, he realizes the hounds see him as their Master and he uses the hounds to help him escape. Up on the surface, he finds that Sam has basically become the antichrist in an effort to get him out. Now that Sam has Dean back, though, he's going to use his powers to wage war on Hell. Dean becomes his right-hand man and throws himself into battle alongside the still-loyal and completely badass hellhounds. Up to the author whether this is Sam/Dean or genfic.

This story was a lot of fun to write. Though, let me tell you, when I found out I was writing for leonidaslion, I almost had a heart attack. I hope I did your prompt justice, m'dear.

The first time it happened, Dean had only been on the rack for two days. He wasn't sure if it had been days- two periods in which he'd spent part of the time being tortured, and part of the time healing rapidly from the torture. He was going to call that a day for now.

Anyway, that second rest period, just before he was fully healed, he felt something lean against the rack. He turned his head, wondering what was happening now, to see.

It was a massive dog. A huge, shaggy, gray dog. Despite the fact that, aside from glowing red eyes, it looked like a regular dog and not a ravening beast, Dean knew it was a hellhound.

But the dog wasn't trying to chew on him. In fact, when it saw him looking, it perked up and licked his hand. "So, do all souls get a hellhound pet or am I just lucky?" Dean asked.

The hound just whined and nudged at his hand. Dean lifted his hand as much as he could, since he was tied down, and the hound managed to fit his snout under it.

"You want me to pet you? After the way you and your buddies tried to eat me?" Dean snorted. "I guess all dogs are the same. Always wanting to be petted."

Dean could just see the massive hound's tail wagging. The beast jumped up, put his front paws on the rack next to Dean, and licked his face.

"AH! Gross!" Dean turned his head, but the hound just licked his ear.

Dean turned back to face the hound, who grinned a doggy grin at him. Dean snorted. There was something about that dog that just reminded him of…

Dean cut that thought off. It'd do no good down here. "Yeah, boy, I guess you can stay."

The hound licked him again and dropped down off the rack. It disappeared, and less than a second later, Alistair was back and grinning horribly at him. "Hello, Deano. Let's get back to work, shall we?"

Bobby Singer couldn't get Sam Winchester to let go of his brother's body. Now, it hadn't even been a half an hour, so the older Hunter could understand. But they needed to get out of here, and soon.

Finally, Sam gently picked Dean's body up and turned to the door. Bobby resisted the urge to take a step back when he saw the look in the young man's eyes.

There was none of the life and light that had been there just an hour before. Now, his eyes were like dark horizons, filled with pain and hate. It was only when Sam glanced down at Dean's body that anything approaching humanity reappeared.

"I'm going to get him back, Bobby," was all Sam said. And he didn't say anything else until they had finished burying Dean's body in a forest clearing in Illinois.

Then he turned to Bobby and sighed. "I am going to get him back," he said. "I just…" he paused and eyed Bobby for a long moment. "I know what I need to do," he said. "Can I count on you to back me up?"

Bobby eyed the boy right back. "You're not makin' sense, kid" he said. "You know I'll always back you up."

"Bobby- I'm going to do anything it takes to get Dean back- no matter what."

Bobby felt a chill go down his spine at the words. He knew what the boy meant. Sam was talking about… Bobby closed his eyes. It would get Dean out of Hell. He would just have to trust that Sam would rather save Dean, and keep the world with Dean in it, than destroy the world. "I won't get in the way," Bobby said.

Things didn't change much in Hell. Every "night", as Dean was healing, the hound would appear. Sometimes, it brought friends, equally massive dogs of various breeds. Dean recognized Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and hounds of various types. And they all seemed happy to see him, to receive whatever affection he could give, and to lick his face enthusiastically in return.

And then Dean broke and got off the rack.

The first "night" after he finished torturing some murderer, he curled up on a bed in the room next to his workstation and fell asleep, the first time he'd slept in over thirty years.

He woke up the next "morning" surrounded by hounds. All of the ones who had visited him as he'd been on the rack lay on the ground surrounding him, with the one who had visited him first and most often stretched out on the bed with him. His hands were buried in its fur, and it was resting its head on his chest. How had he slept through that?

Dean sighed and scratched the hound's side. "I think you need a name, big guy. How do you like Zep?"

The hound cocked his head and snorted. "No? Do you like Met? Or Allman? How about Sabbath?"

The hound snorted at each name. "Then Zep it is," Dean decided. "I'm not searching for a name for you forever. He pushed at the hound and stretched once it got off him. He wandered into the next room, where the soul was waiting for him. "I hope you had a good night," Dean said. He wasn't sure he wanted to do this, but this guy was here for a reason, and Dean didn't want to go back on the rack.

He felt the hound crowd against him and heard it growl at the soul. The soul cringed back. Dean turned to look at his hound.

"You know, you might be useful."

Sam was getting stronger. He could feel it deep within himself. He hadn't been able to get Dean out yet, but he would. Soon. He'd felt something snap into place just about three months after Dean had died, and he'd started working harder and harder at mastering his powers.

Two weeks later, he'd killed Ruby. She had been slowing him down. He'd discovered that he didn't need the demon blood, and all it had done was make things harder for him. Ruby had been slowing him down.

Sam was ready to embrace who he was. He was ready to become the one he'd been born to be. He had a plan. He was going to kill Lilith, then take over the demon army. He'd change things- no apocalypse while he was in charge! He liked the Earth just the way it was, thank you. He was not going to let his army destroy it. And whatever other plans they had didn't matter. He had his own plans, and they'd follow his orders.

He could understand the desire to stay up here, and he'd let his demons do just that. Better that than keeping them all locked up in Hell, where they would do nothing but plot against him. But first- he had to find a way to storm Hell.

And reclaim his brother.

Alistair watched his favorite pupil as the boy worked the soul of a child molester over. Also watching closely were a pack of hellhounds. Alistair had never seen hounds as interested in a soul or demon before as they were in Dean. Dean could get them to do anything. Dean was always followed by hounds, no matter where in Hell he went. Alistair wasn't quite sure why they were so attached to Dean, but he approved. If hellhounds liked Dean, then he was well suited to Hell.

Dean paused in his work for a moment to glance at the largest of the hounds, a great shaggy beast that was especially devoted to Dean. "Hey, Zep? You want to help for a bit?"

The hound shifted before padding forward to sniff at the soul. It growled low in its throat and the soul flinched away.

Dean laughed. "Afraid of dogs?" he asked.

"Get that monster away from me!" the soul shrieked.

Alistair turned away. Dean had things well under control, and there was nothing for his teacher to do right now. Later, sure. Dean seemed to need regular reminders that what he was doing was what he was meant to do. But for now, he was fine.

Sam wanted nothing more than to throw the book against the wall. Maybe he shouldn't have killed Ruby. Nothing he was doing was really working, and the demons didn't trust him. They wouldn't work with him, and half the time, they attacked him and forced him to either kill them or exorcise them.

He just wanted to build his own army. Azazel had said the winner of his little game would lead an army. He was ready to step up and take charge, he just needed his soldiers.

Now, granted, all he was going to do was use them to get Dean out. But they didn't know that. He didn't try to kill them unless they tried to kill him. Unfortunately, they tried to kill him a lot.

Sam snorted and turned to the latest of the demons that attacked him. "All you have to do is tell me then I'll send you back to Hell. Or… I could keep you up here. I really could use someone to help me with this. If you can convince me you won't betray me, I'll let you stay up here."

The demon- in the body of a matronly old lady- laughed. "Sammy, Sammy, last of the Winchesters. And you're still trying to fight us. You can't win. Your brother's in a real hot spot. I hear his screams are like a lullaby."

Sam smiled coldly. "That was your final mistake," he said.

He lifted his hand and reached out with his mind. This part was getting easier and easier as he broke down the barriers in his mind that kept him from his powers. He wasn't sure if this was just because he was practicing, or each demon's death made him stronger. Sometimes, he thought he was absorbing their power or part of their soul when they died by his hand. Maybe that should have bothered him. It didn't. Nothing about his powers bothered him now.

As he watched the demon scream, he wished he had done this sooner. Even using his power a month earlier would have been worth it. He could have killed Lilith and saved Dean from going to Hell.

Now, all he could hope to do was rescue Dean from Hell before it was too late.

He paused and let go of the demon. It funneled back down into its host.

After a moment he crouched down and looked her in her eyes. "Had enough yet?" he asked.

"Screw you," she spat.

"I think you have that wrong," Sam said as he focused at the demon again.

He'd do this as long as necessary, prolonging the exorcism, dragging it out until she told him what he needed to know.

Dean needlessly washed off his tools and set them down. Something had been niggling at the edge of his mind for a while now. Every night, the hounds surrounded him as he slept. They followed him everywhere, always did what he told them to do. Zep nudged against his side. "Hey boy," Dean said quietly has he petted the top of its head. "Just doing some thinking. I don't think I'm exactly human anymore. Even when I first came down here you guys liked me. That means something. I'm just not sure what."

The hound whined. Dean took a deep breath. "I think it's time to find out what you guys can do. I know you can take people to Hell. He set down the last of his tools and looked at his empty rack.

"Let's find out if you can take someone out of Hell." Dean whistled, loud and piercing. All of his hounds, howled in response. He bent his knees, preparing. "Let's go."

He leapt up, feeling his soul turn to smoke, and his hounds caught him and carried him up. As they did, something bright and shining stormed into Dean's workroom. Dean caught barely a glimpse of wings before he and his hounds were gone.

Sam stood before the altar, watching as the last of the blood dripped out of the child's wrists. Lilith had intended to use her as a host. So, when his ritual had called for a child sacrifice, Sam had picked her from the playground, snatching her from Lilith's grasp.

Sam felt the power from the ritual enter him. He lifted his hands and chanted the last Latin sentence. The veil between himself and Hell's power weakened as he darkened his own soul. The power inside him grew and settled.

Sam smiled in satisfaction as he finished the ritual. It had worked just as he'd hoped. It was only a matter of time before he was strong enough to get Dean out. Now that he had added to his powers, he should probably go visit Bobby.

Bobby was, after all, like a second father to him. He might not like what Sam was doing, and when Sam's eyes sometimes flashed yellow, he would jump, but Sam still cared for the man.

Sam wasn't going to do anything to the man, unless he needed to keep Bobby from stopping him. And even then, he had a plan. He wouldn't hurt Bobby. No, he'd just lock him into a coma, and let him live a life where Sam rescued Dean and they beat Hell.

It wasn't as bad as it sounded. Once Sam really had rescued Dean, he'd wake Bobby up, and they'd go on with their lives.

That was the last resort, of course. If he could keep Bobby from deciding that Sam had fallen too far, then he wouldn't need to do it.

The easiest way to do that was go on a hunt or two with Bobby. Do it the old fashioned away, no powers, convince Bobby he wasn't going too far. Then he could return to working on breaking more barriers to his powers. He was getting stronger, but it wasn't enough. It wouldn't be enough until he could pull Dean out of Hell.

The first few minutes out of Hell and on Earth, Dean simply floated in the air. His perceptions were different now, and his hounds looked like the monstrous beasts he remembered from his last night alive.

But they were still his. They'd had found a desecrated church to hide out as they all regained their strength. Leaving Hell had weakened them. Dean was nothing more than a roiling cloud of black smoke, and his hounds were invisible to any human, so it didn't matter where they stayed.

After nearly a day of doing nothing but resting, Dean was ready. He wanted to find his body, and then find his brother.

Dean had some spell work to do to find his body, and for that, he'd need a meatsuit. He ordered his hounds to stay behind, and shot off toward the nearest town. He returned less than ten minutes later in the body of a young man.

It was a pity the spell Dean was going to do would end up killing the man, but he couldn't have everything. Actually, no, it wasn't a pity. This guy was so stupid, it was a public service to get rid of him before he could breed.

His hounds clustered around him as he prepared the spell. His meatsuit was whimpering in the back of his mind. "It's your own fault, dude," Dean said aloud. "First, you decided to learn witchcraft. Then, you decided to summon a demon. You're lucky I came by before you finished your summoning. Most other demons would torture you first. I'm just going to slit your throat."

Dean started up his chant, and followed through on his promise. It took some time for the spell to work, but eventually, he found his body. As he expected, Sam hadn't burned him. But even so, after a hellhound attack, and something like four months, his body wasn't in very good shape.

More spell work then. Dean sighed. He wasn't the best at spells- honestly, that had always been more Sam's forte.

He considered the problem after he'd dug his body out. Really, if he could just heal the body from the inside out, it'd be better. But he couldn't.

He studied what was left of his body and thought. It'd be easier to just stay in this one, especially now that the original owner was gone. But Sam was- he wouldn't want Dean to steal another body. He'd want his brother back, as his brother. Nothing else would do.

Dean glanced back at his hounds. Of course, he was a demon now, and he had a decent sized pack of hellhounds that followed him everywhere. So maybe Sam wouldn't want him back at all.

Dean shook his head sharply. No, Sam was Sammy, his baby brother. He'd always want Dean back, no matter what.

Dean began to set up for the next spell. It was complicated, and delicate. He made sure his hounds stayed out of the way as he finished the set up around midnight. He had to wait until 3am to start the spell so he rested and took the time to play with his hounds, getting to know them again in their earthbound forms.

Finally, it was 3am and he could start the spell. For nearly an hour, he chanted and carefully drew on the ground. As he finished the last phrase, he was blinded by a flash of brilliant green light. When his vision cleared, he looked down. His body lay intact on the ground. Dean dropped to his knees next to it and double checked- yes, everything looked perfect. The tattoo was gone, thankfully. He wasn't sure what he would have done if it had remained.

He poured out of his temporary meatsuit, and into his own body. "Awesome," he said as he opened his eyes again for the first time. "Let's go find Sammy."

Something was different. Sam frowned as he left his motel room. There was a demon out there, watching him. It didn't feel like a very old demon, but it had been following him for three days now.

Sam occasionally caught a glimpse of massive, monstrous dogs as well. The demon had hellhounds.

He didn't understand why the demon hadn't attacked him, but this was going to end now.

Sam got in the Impala and left the parking lot. A second car followed him seconds later. He smiled grimly.

He led the demon to the seedy- seedier- side of town and parked in front of a warehouse. He debated for a moment, before getting out and leaning against the Impala. The other car parked far enough away that he couldn't see the driver. He could see the pack of five or six hellhounds that surrounded it, though.

They were acting oddly. Most of the time when demons had hellhounds, the beasts were barely restrained –eager to attack him. These looked like they wanted to jump him, but unlike other hounds, their stumpy tails were wagging, and they looked more like dogs looking for affection than monsters trying to eat him.

The demon got out of the car. The hounds immediately clustered around him like bodyguards. The demon had left the headlights on, so all Sam could see was his outline as he walked to toward him. It was such a familiar shape, such a familiar walk…

Sam banished the thought.

"You've been following me for three days. You've got ten seconds to explain why before I kill you," Sam said as soon as the demon was within earshot.

"I got out, Sammy," the demon said. He stopped under a streetlight and let Sam see his face.

Sam pressed back against the Impala in shock. It… it wasn't possible.


The demon nodded. He glanced at the hounds for an instant before swallowing. "It's me."

Sam hesitated, but he didn't really doubt it. The demon was Dean. Dean was a demon. Dean was back.

He all but ran forward. Dean caught him and pulled him into a tight hug. Sam let himself be held for a long moment before pulling back. Dean was smiling uncertainly. "Still such a great big girl, Sammy," he said, chuckling.

Sam returned the smile, equally uncertain. Dean wasn't going to like what he'd become.

Dean eyed him, and after a second, his eyes blinked black. "What in Hell's name…?" he asked. "Sammy… you're… you're not human anymore. What happened?"

Sam nodded, and hesitated for one last moment. "I did…" he paused, and took a deep breath. "I wasn't going to let you stay there any longer than I had to," he said. "So I did what I had to do."

Dean nodded slowly. His eyes were still black, as he studied his brother. "You're the Boy King I heard some of the demons talking about down below."

Sam nodded slowly. "That's one of my titles," he said. "But I'm not too interested in running Hell. Hell took my brother away from me." This was it. He was going to lose his brother.

Dean smiled at him, and his eyes flipped back to human normal. "Awesome, Sammy," he said. "You know what that means?"

Sam blinked. He… he couldn't have heard that right.

Dean glanced at his hounds, and they dropped to the ground, heads bowed in submission. Dean knelt down beside them and looked up at Sam. "You're my king, Sammy. And we're going to show Hell just who they messed with."

Sam pulled Dean up and back into a hug. Then he stepped back and smiled. "We are," he said.

Dean gestured and the hounds clustered around them both.

The Boy King and the Master of Hounds smiled at each other. They had plans to make, and all of Hell would tremble before them.

In case you were curious, I modeled the "huge, shaggy, gray hound" after the Irish Wolfhound.

As a final note, I hope you all enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.